An Epidemic of Anti-Semitism? Not So Fast

Although there is ample reason to fear rising manifestations of anti-Semitism in the U.S., writes David E. Bernstein, there is in fact little reason to believe that hostile attitudes toward Jews have risen dramatically. He cites a recent study by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as evidence:

While belief in stereotypes about Jews remains widespread, the ADL found that only 11 percent of American adults believed in six or more of the eleven stereotypes tested—a tie for the lowest percentage ever. By contrast, the first year the ADL undertook this study, the figure was 29 percent. So much for the constant refrain from the ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt and others that we are living through “the worst period of anti-Semitism in the United States since the 1930s.”

Now, I admit that ADL methodology is far from perfect, but it does provide a basis for comparison, and there has been no spike, or even an increase, in anti-Semitism because of Donald Trump or anyone else. The problem of anti-Semitism in the United States is a problem of the far-left and far-right fringes, and the way social media, technology, partisanship, and the decline of media gatekeepers have allowed them to have a much louder voice. These fringes need to be isolated; the Trump administration shouldn’t be giving discretionary media credentials to far-right anti-Semites, and Bernie Sanders shouldn’t be allying with Linda Sarsour, Rashida Tlaib, and company. And of course better security and preemptive work by law enforcement is needed to stop what does appear to be a spike in anti-Semitic violence.

But for those who thought that the U.S. was heading toward the sort of commonplace, mainstream anti-Semitism prevalent in some European countries, you can breathe a sigh of relief, at least for now.

Read more at Volokh Conspiracy

More about: ADL, American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump

Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security